Metallica last released new material in 2008, when "Death Magnetic," the band's ninth album, dropped, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
But after footage of a new song surfaced earlier this week from a performance in Colombia, the four-piece has released a garage demo of that tune, "Lords of Summer," on its YouTube page, Rolling Stone reports.
The eight-minute song, an epic in the vein of "Death Magnetic" -- all its songs clocked at above five minutes and were, on average, even longer -- features a mid-tempo lurch of guitars and drums before launching into a riff more reminiscent of its earlier thrash metal days, as well as of "Death Magnetic" opener "That Was Just Your Life."
"Go trade your darkness for the sun / Soon the lords of summer shall return," frontman James Hetfield sings before guitarist Kirk Hammett contributes a characteristically shredding solo.
Hammett told Billboard last January that the band was about to convene to record a new album, which would be its 10th since its debut in the early '80s.
That album doesn't currently have any sort of timeframe for its release, nor is "Lords of Summer" ensured a spot on that album; drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone in a recent interview that the song could very well not make the final cut.
"Death Magnetic" sold 490,000 copies upon its initial release in 2008. Since, the band recorded a record with Lou Reed, titled "Lulu," in 2011 and dropped a live concert film, "Through the Never," last year.